This incident dates back to a thousand years, Chitpady beedu( a place located one kilometre from Sri Krishna Temple) was ruled by a cheiftain known as ‘Ballala’. This Ballala family followed a custom of travelling to Tirupathi by foot every year to seek the blessings of Lord ShriNivasa. There was one year when due to old age or illness the Ballala could not fulfil this custom. He was in total despair as he was unable to perform the custom. That night, in his dreams a divine being appeared and instructed him that the Lord stayed close to him in a snake burrow next to a bamboo grove.
The next morning the Ballala cleared the burrow and found an idol of Lord Srinivasa with Sridevi and Bhoodevi on either side. The Ballala built a beautiful temple for the idol and installed it along with an idol of Subramanya in the Sanctum Sanctorum(Garbha Gudi) because they had to clear the snake burrow in order to find the idol.This is supposed to be one rare temple where Lord Subramanya’s idol and Lord Srinivasa’s idol is installed in the same Garbha Gruha.
Historically,there are no written inscriptions found as to who installed the idol of the Lord before the Ballala found it. But according to some mythical stories it is believed that this idol dates back to thousands of years when the “Shrinivasa Kalyana”,(a part of Bhavishyothara Purana) took place. The Shrinivasa Kalyana, the marriage of Lord Srinivasa and Padmavathi. It is said that it was a heavenly marriage of the Almighty when all the gods came down to earth and celebrated the occasion. During this occasion, some of the Rishimuni’s (saints) and Maharishi Kanva lived in Chitpady and were unable to travel. So, the Lord himself appeared infront of them in Chitpady and blessed them.
There are significant facts in the scripture “Sri Madhwa Vijaya” that Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya used to visit this temple in his childhood and drink a glass of milk in the Ballala’s house. Later on, as he returned from Badrinath Kshethra, he blessed the Ballala family by giving them an idol of “Garudadhwaja Lakshminarayana”.Even to date, the Ashta Mutt Swamiji’s of Udupi before the Paryaya, visit the Ballala’s house to worship the deity of Lord Garudadhwaja Lakshminarayana and partake a glass of milk as a custom.
Special thanks to,
Dr. Gopalakrishna Ballal, Administrator, Chitpady Beedu Srinivasa Temple
Sri Vadiraj Pejathaya.